The Red Bull Gospel

It takes more than pizza and video games to give young people a faith that endures.
The Red Bull Gospel

A few years ago I volunteered at an event put on by a national youth ministry.

The evening was fun but grueling. We bobbed for apples, captured flags, and raced eggs across the floor using only our noses. The games culminated with a frigid indignity: I laid on my back and let three giggling teenagers make an ice cream sundae on my face.

As I toweled chocolate syrup from my chin, a leader ordered the teens into a semicircle. It was time for the devotional, which included a gospel presentation—but it was a gospel presentation that made me want to stand up and scream.

"Being a Christian isn't hard," he told the group. "You won't lose your friends or be unpopular at school. Nothing will change. Your life will be the same, just better."

Maybe his words would have slipped by me if they hadn't been such blatant reversals of Jesus' own warnings about the offensiveness of his message or the inevitable hardships of following him.

I glanced at the teens. One was ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Visitor, Do You Like Us?
Visitor, Do You Like Us?
From the Magazine
Atlanta Beyond MLK: How Black Christians Continue a Civil Rights Legacy
Atlanta Beyond MLK: How Black Christians Continue a Civil Rights Legacy
Generations take up the gospel work of becoming a beloved community.
Editor's Pick
What Pastors See as the ‘New Normal’ for Preaching After the Pandemic
What Pastors See as the ‘New Normal’ for Preaching After the Pandemic
COVID-19’s ministry disruptions are generating lasting insights.
close